Practice is over and a familiar scene plays out on the far side of the Mavericks training facility. Most of the players have left, but a tall German from Wurzburg works on a weird drill with Holger Geschwinder. This time the German is Maxi Kleber.
Holger is here at practice working with Maxi Kleber on something to do with spinning. pic.twitter.com/LKIrVjxzyD— Brice Paterik (@80GradeWhitt) October 16, 2018
When asked about the drill Kleber said it was to improve balance while shooting. Though he grew up in Wurzburg, Maxi only worked with Holger a little bit back in Germany, but not much before signing with the Mavericks last season.
In his first NBA season, Kleber struggled to hit threes consistently at the NBA range. He was signed as a stretch big who also defended well. His defense was fine his rookie year but Kleber shot 32.7 percent from deep last year on 1.8 attempts per game.
Adjusting to the NBA three-point line was the hardest part of adjusting his offensive game to the NBA last season.
“Since my shot is flat every step you take back is a little bit tougher to make,” Kleber said. “That’s why I tried to change my shot and shoot a little bit higher. I changed my form a little bit and that was my biggest adjustment this summer.”
Those changes have taken hold and it’s obvious Kleber feels confident in his three point shot now. This season Kleber has doubled his three-point attempts per game to 3.6 and is hitting 40 percent of his shots from behind the arc.
“There’s always something you can get better at and Holger (Geschwinder) has a really good eye for that and obviously a lot of knowledge,” Kleber said.
“When I took my shots and he saw something he talked to me and said ‘look your shot got better but this is something (where) you have big upside.’ It’s nice to have someone like that telling you how much you can do better and work on it.”
Kleber’s improvements as a shooter helped him fit in with the new Mavericks offensive system of chucking hella threes. His 40 percent shooting on threes leads the team through seven games this season.
All the work Maxi Kleber put in this off season to extend his range is paying off early in the season. Kleber looks like stretch big the Mavericks envisioned when they signed him last season. And in this modern NBA, there’s no such thing as too many shooters.